BYE BYE TO THE BY-ELECTIONS
Good luck to the socialist candidates at today’s counts. The fact that low turnout favours the big parties, together with a lack of a grassroots movements such as the water charges to inspire working class people to come out and vote for a left candidate, means we do not expect to get elected or anywhere near it.
However, hopefully votes will be respectable and give us something to build on in future.
There is no good news for the govt tho – at this stage it looks like SF(DMW) and the Greens(Fingal) will take a seat each, and this may alter the Dail arithmetic to the extent that the govt loses the no confidence vote in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy next week, possibly leading to the downfall of the govt and a GE.
For the far-right, who were betting their tinfoil hats and their Zyklon B supplies on a good showing, tallies indicate another disaster with derisory votes all round – but we must remain vigilant on this score – far right votes are low because of United left wing campaigning against them and this must continue.
Neither does the racist campaigning of Veronica Murphy (FG) of Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF) appear to have boosted their vote – in fact it looks like it may have damaged it a bit. This is good news, but again we will have to keep vigilant and call out racism wherever it enters politics.
Why the low turnout? The vast majority in all four constituencies yesterday decided it wasn’t worth the effort to stroll a couple of hundred yards up the road to scratch a few marks on roll of paper and slip it into a box.
Are they right? From one perspective, of course they are. No matter who has been in power and no matter what they have promised to do for people once they get in, they have always run Ireland as a ‘committee for the rich’, as Lenin so wisely put it long ago.
The FFFG coalition now running Ireland has contributed perhaps more than ever before to this widespread rejection of the voting system. What’s the point in voting when the government and the opposition are the same thing?
Besides this FF and FG have conspired to tyrannically prevent democratically successful socialist bills on everything from the environment to sex education from passing into law by means of the ‘money message’ manouvre. So it’s hard for many to see the point of voting atall.
Socialists run in elections to fight for the issues that matter to workers and the oppressed. We don’t think we can make these changes on our own though. Only mass movements can do that. Having well known figures in the Dail who are eloquent spokespeople and constant agitators is a huge advantage and we need as many as possible, but without the backing of the risen street the serious and fundamental
changes we need to make to our society will not happen.
So the focus now must swiftly turn to building & encouraging the extra-parliamentary mass movement. There are two opportunities to do this in next fortnight. One is the march for the homless next Thursday, gathering at the garden of remembrance at 1pm. This is organised by a loose gathering of grassroots activists. At their request People Before Profit have organised a Dail debate on homelessness at the same time as the protest.
The far-right yellow vest movement has attempted an infiltration but have been told to get lost by the organisers. This doesn’t mean they wont turn up – they are amoral scum after all with no respect for anyone else. But don’t let them put you off. Fascists are trying to infiltrate all over at the moment and it would be a mistake to walk away from any movement because of this. The far-right offers no solutions but they will gain an audience if the left doesnt show up to challenge them everywhere we can.
And we have a huge opportunity to peacefully and good humouredly challenge the far-right on Sat Dec 14th at 1 o clock when a large and diverse coalition of trade unions, activist groups, solidarity and faith based organisations will be gathering at Leinster House to celbrate peace and unity and stand up to far-right hate. EVERYONE must show up for this – if it is big enough it will be the beginning of the end for Ireland’s nascent fascist movement and that would be the perfect christmas present to Ireland, wouldn’t it?
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